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NEW YORK, May 22 (Reuters) - U.S. gasoline demand rose last week from the previous week as pump prices continued to slide ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, MasterCard said in its SpendingPulse report on Tuesday.
Gasoline demand in the week to May 18 rose 1.3 percent against the week to May 11, the report showed, after a 20 cent drop in retail prices over the past six weeks. Consumption typically picks up with the Memorial Day, the start of the U.S. summer driving season.
U.S. gasoline prices dipped 3 cents from the previous week to average $3.73 a gallon, down 4.8 percent from year-ago levels.
Consumption was down 0.9 percent against year-ago levels, marking the smallest year-on-year decline since the week to Aug. 26, 2011, MasterCard said.
New England and the West Coast showed the biggest year-on-year increases, up 1.9 and 2.2 percent, respectively, while the Midwest showed the biggest decline, off 2.8 percent versus 2011 levels.
MasterCard Advisors, a unit of MasterCard Inc, estimates retail gasoline demand based on aggregate sales in the MasterCard payments system coupled with estimates for other payment forms including cash and checks. (Reporting by Matthew Robinson; Editing by David Gregorio and M.D. Golan)